Talk with Current Students

Meet the Student Ambassadors

Notre Dame Law School’s Student Ambassadors are current 2Ls and 3Ls who are excited to offer their unique insight into our community. If you have questions about the student experience at NDLS, feel free to email them at lawadmit@nd.edu. To contact a specific ambassador, simply name them in the subject or greeting of your email.

For more specific questions about the application and admissions process, please contact the admissions staff after reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions.

 


Samantha Contreras

Samantha Contreras, 3L (Lead Ambassador)

Hometown: Kankakee, Illinois

Undergraduate career: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2019, B.A. in Latina/Latino Studies and Communications

NDLS extracurricular activities: Vice President, Hispanic Law Students Association; Admissions Liaison, Black Law Students Association; 2L Representative, Student Bar Association

Legal work: Law Clerk at Catholic Charities Legal Assistance (Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago)

Future plans and aspirations: I plan to return to Chicago after graduation and practice transactional law.

Why did you choose NDLS? Immediately upon arriving at Notre Dame, I felt at home and a part of something bigger than myself. Notre Dame’s alumni network is extensive, accessible, and always happy to cheer on the Irish students (and the football team!). Additionally, NDLS provided me with professors who are not only experts in their fields of study but also extremely committed to their students’ educational, professional, and personal success! I am so proud to be a part of the Notre Dame family! 


Austin Dunn

Austin Dunn, 3L (Lead Ambassador)

Hometown: La Habra, California

Undergraduate career: University of Southern California, 2018, B.A. in Political Science, M.A. in Public Diplomacy

NDLS extracurricular activities: Assistant Rector, Morrissey Hall; Director, Alumni Ambassador Program; Staff Editor, Notre Dame Journal on Emerging Technologies; Hispanic Law Students Association; Sports Law Society; Business Law Forum

Legal work: Research Assistant for a NDLS Professor

Future plans and aspirations: I hope to practice transactional law in Chicago after graduation.

Why did you choose NDLS? As a Southern California native, I knew I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and live somewhere new for law school. When considering various schools across the country, I prioritized a law school that would allow me to practice anywhere in the country after graduation through a strong and far-reaching alumni network and that is exactly what I found in Notre Dame. Additionally, South Bend is an ideal location for law school as it strikes the balance between being secluded and private enough to allow for optimal focus but also is close enough to big cities for any weekend trips.


Emily Dufner

Emily Dufner, 3L

Hometown: Short Hills, New Jersey

Undergraduate career: University of Notre Dame, 2019, B.A. in Political Science and Spanish

NDLS extracurricular activities: Staff Editor, Notre Dame Journal of International and Comparative Law; Moot Court; International Human Rights Society

Legal work: Research Assistant for NDLS Professor; Dublin Honor Scholar (cancelled due to pandemic)

Future plans and aspirations: I plan to move to New York City after graduation and work in corporate law at a large, global law firm. I hope to ultimately pursue a career in international human rights law. 

Why did you choose NDLS? One of the primary reasons why I chose to come to NDLS is because of the unique international opportunities that it has for its students. From the ability to study abroad to its renowned Global Law program and faculty, I knew that NDLS is unparalleled when it comes to the study of International Law. I am also truly passionate about Notre Dame as a whole. You do not decide to come to Notre Dame for another three years if you did not absolutely love your first four! 


Emma Hildebrand

Emma Hildebrand, 2L

Hometown: Mendon, Illinois

Undergraduate career: Monmouth College, 2017, B.A. in Political Science/History

NDLS extracurricular activities: Journal of Legislation - Staff Editor; Military & Veterans Law Society - Vice President; Federalist Society - Alumni Affairs & Professional Development Coordinator

Legal work: Air Force JAG Corps - Joint Base Andrews, MD

Future plans and aspirations: Post law school, my current goal is to clerk for a year and then commission into the Air Force JAG Corps where I can represent the United States in court and provide legal assistance to service members. One day, I hope to return to Illinois and run for state public office representing my home district. 

Why did you choose NDLS? Choosing a law school during the COVID pandemic was difficult and since I was unable to visit any schools, I had to base my decision on the limited interactions I was able to have with schools. Unlike several of my other top choices, Notre Dame made me feel welcomed even when I was hours from campus. I had professors, students, alumni, and admissions counselors reaching out to speak to me about their experiences and answer any questions I had. Before I had even deposited, Notre Dame truly made me feel like I was already part of an incredible community and I just knew that it had to be my new home.


Danica Hosaka

Danica Hosaka, 3L

Hometown: Thousand Oaks, California

Undergraduate career: University of Southern California, 2019, B.A. in Psychology (with minor in Psychology and Law) 

NDLS extracurricular activities: Assistant Rector, Johnson Family Hall; Staff Editor, Notre Dame Journal of Legislation; Vice President of Entertainment, Sports, Communication and Entertainment Law Forum (SCELF); Intake Committee, Notre Dame Exoneration Project; Asian Law Students Association; Student Bar Association

Legal work: Summer Associate at Warner Norcross + Judd LLP

Future plans and aspirations: I plan to move to either Chicago or Grand Rapids after graduation and pursue a career in litigation.

Why did you choose NDLS? Since high school, I've wanted to move to the Midwest. So, when the time came to apply to law schools, I mainly chose schools in the Midwest. Notre Dame was actually the very last law school I applied to and it was the best decision I made, both for myself and my career. Ultimately, there were three things that brought me to NDLS: its vast alumni network; its highly distinguished faculty; and, most importantly, its strong sense of community. I'm still so excited to call myself an NDLS student!


Tim Hutchinson

Tim Hutchinson, 2L

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Undergraduate career: West Virginia University, BS in German; West Virginia University, MA Linguistics

NDLS extracurricular activities: National Lawyer’s Guild - Secretary; Business Law Forum - Alumni Ambassador 

Legal work: Koley Jessen, Omaha, Nebraska (Summer Associate)

Future plans and aspirations: I will work for an awesome private firm in Omaha known as Koley Jessen, hopefully in Employment Litigation or Litigation generally.  

Why did you choose NDLS? The community and alumni network at Notre Dame are second to none.  Notre Dame is a true university, where you can feel free and supported to explore ideas while growing in a legal vocation.  


Saif Islam

Saif Islam, 3L

Hometown: West Lafayette, Indiana

Undergraduate career: Purdue University, 2018, B.S. in Health Sciences, B.A. in Law and Society

NDLS extracurricular activities: 2L Representative, Student Bar Association; Vice President, Asian Law Students Association; GALILEE Co-Chair; Volunteer Lawyer Network

Legal work: Legal Intern for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, Immigration Defense Unit

Future plans and aspirations: I plan to move to the Bay Area after graduation and practice transactional law. 

Why did you choose NDLS? Given that I am from Indiana, I had intended not to visit NDLS because I wanted to go out of state for law school. However, I visited in the Fall and ended up loving the campus and the Law School. Once I was admitted, I had the opportunity to visit NDLS again during one of the Admitted Students Open Houses and was blown away by the incredible people I met. The community at NDLS is truly  what makes this school one of the top law schools in the country — that and the alumni network, which cannot be beat. Finally, the faculty are great and are always available, whether it is school-related or not. That was a major plus for me!


Samantha Mariani

Samantha Mariani, 2L

Hometown: Franklin Lakes, New Jersey

Undergraduate career: University of Notre Dame, 2020, B.B.A. in Accountancy and French (with a certificate in International Business)

NDLS extracurricular activities: Staff Editor, Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy; Moot Court; Mendoza Liaison, Student Bar Association; Community Outreach Coordinator, Tax Law Society

Legal work: Winter Legal Intern at Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP; Research Assistant for a Notre Dame Law professor

Future plans and aspirations: I plan to return to the New York area after graduation and practice transactional law.

Why did you choose NDLS? I chose to return to Notre Dame for law school because the community is unparalleled. The students, faculty, and alumni are all extremely helpful and welcoming. Everyone wants to help you succeed, especially the alumni... once a Domer, always a Domer! Additionally, NDLS  encourages you to grow into a well-rounded lawyer and explore your interests. After coming to NDLS, I decided to apply to become a 3-year JD/MBA, and NDLS as a whole, and especially the Career Development Office, was very supportive throughout the process.


Zahraa Nasser

Zahraa Nasser, 3L

Hometown: Granger, Indiana

Undergraduate career: Loyola University Chicago, 2015, B.B.A. in Finance and Economics

NDLS extracurricular activities: Business Law Forum; Women’s Legal Forum; Moot Court; Staff Editor, Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy

Legal work: Summer Associate at Ropes & Gray LLP; Legal Extern for the National Immigrant Justice Center; Research Assistant for a NDLS Professor

Future plans and aspirations: I plan on pursuing a career as a transactional attorney in Chicago and aim to use my legal education to help communities re-build and grow. 

Why did you choose NDLS? I always viewed my legal education as an ethical responsibility and felt immediate relief when the classroom I shadowed during an Admitted Students Open House introduced ethical consideration as a legitimate means of decision-making. I also wanted to consider my classmates as friends and family, and the NDLS community made that easy to do. That sense of community extends to after graduation as well. The alumni network is really as good as everyone says it is!


Erica Patterson, 2L

Hometown: Bowie, Maryland 

Undergraduate career: University of Maryland, College Park, 2020, B.S. in Family Science & Psychology

NDLS extracurricular activities: President of Women's Legal Forum & National Lawyers Guild, Treasurer of Black Law Student Association, Assistant Rector

Legal work: Thompson & Coburn Winter Internship & MD Office of Attorney General MDH Summer Internship 

Future plans and aspirations: I plan to do a clerkship after I graduate. Then I plan to work for a firm, and then become a judge. 

Why did you choose NDLS? I came to NLDS because of the opportunities that the school could afford me. I also joined because of the strong alumni network, and the Christian atmosphere of the campus. I love how nice and collegial the environment is at the school.  


Kat Pflug

Kat Pflug, 3L

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

Undergraduate career: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2019, B.S. in Finance 

NDLS extracurricular activities: President, Future Prosecuting Attorneys Council; Women’s Legal Forum

Legal work: Legal Intern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Nebraska; Judicial Extern for the Honorable Damon Leichty, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Indiana

Future plans and aspirations: I hope to return to my native Nebraska and work as a federal prosecutor focused on Indian Country crimes.

Why did you choose NDLS? When I visited NDLS, every person with whom I interacted was genuine, kind, and spoke honestly about the highs and lows of law school. It was readily apparent that the faculty care for students as individuals and are concerned about their emotional and spiritual wellbeing in addition to their education. NDLS promises to make you a “different kind of lawyer” and it backs that up by being a different kind of school. I am so grateful I chose to join this supportive community that pushes me to be a better person, friend, and lawyer. 


Marquan Robertson

Marquan Robertson, 3L

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Undergraduate career: Temple University, 2016, B.A. in Economics (with a certificate in Political Economy)

NDLS extracurricular activities: Vice President, Black Law Students Association; Staff Editor, Notre Dame Journal of Legislation; Legal Voices for Children and Youth; LexisNexis Brand Ambassador; Philadelphia Alumni Ambassador

Legal work: Summer Associate at Reed Smith LLP

Future plans and aspirations: I plan to return to Philadelphia to pursue a career in litigation. I hope to focus my practice on labor and employment law.

Why did you choose NDLS? The biggest deciding factor that led to my enrollment at NDLS was the people. As a husband and father, it was important to be in an environment that was not just understanding but supportive of my situation. Additionally, as a first-generation student, I knew that I needed more help than my peers decoding the maze that law school can place one in. As soon as I was admitted, Notre Dame provided support every step of the way, far more than any other school I considered. They put me in touch with current students and alumni that I speak to regularly to this day. I walked in my first day with a support system already in place and that was just the first of many things NDLS did to maximize my success.


Bridget Rose

Bridget Rose, 3L

Hometown: Medfield, Massachusetts

Undergraduate career: Roanoke College, 2017, B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy

NDLS extracurricular activities: Assistant Rector, Flaherty Hall; President, Jus Vitae; Women’s Legal Forum

Legal work: Judicial Intern for the Honorable David Cunis, Massachusetts District Court Judge

Future plans and aspirations: I came to law school to pursue civil and human rights law and, after my first year, have become particularly interested in criminal law. I plan to return to Boston  after graduation and practice litigation. I hope to eventually channel my interests for human rights law and criminal law by working in criminal justice.

Why did you choose NDLS? I have friends who attended Notre Dame for undergrad and was familiar with the vibrant community and mission of the University. NDLS was my top choice from the start because I knew I wanted my legal education to be more than just learning the law; I wanted a legal education that was informed by my faith, values, and a desire to learn the law to fulfill my vocation in a deeper way. The NDLS call to educate a “different kind of lawyer” truly encompasses why I wanted to go to law school in the first place – to understand the values of justice and compassion that call me to defend the dignity of every person under the law.


Chris Russell

Chris Russell, 2L

Hometown: Rochester Hills, Michigan

Undergraduate career: Oakland University, 2020, B.S. in Marketing  

NDLS extracurricular activities: Assistant Rector, Duncan Hall; Staff Editor, Vol. 36, Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy;  2L Representative, Student Bar Association

Legal work: Summer Associate for William Fry (Dublin Honors Scholar); Research Assistant for Notre Dame Law professor

Future plans and aspirations: I plan to return to Michigan after graduation and practice business law.

Why did you choose NDLS? I chose NDLS because I wanted a school with a national presence without losing a warm and welcoming culture. The community and networking opportunities exceeded all expectations, and the option to stay within a few hours of my family and target market made for a compelling combo. While there were many schools I was excited to be get into, the academics, international programs in places like Dublin, Hamburg, and London, location, and campus at NDLS sealed the deal for me upon acceptance. This is truly a place where your degree can take you anywhere you want.


Stephanie Wong

Stephanie Wong, 3L

Hometown: Orlando, Florida

Undergraduate career: University of Florida, 2016, B.A. in Political Science (with minors in English and Asian American Studies)

NDLS extracurricular activities: Treasurer, Student Bar Association; Secretary, Food and Law Society; First Generation Students Association; Asian Law Students Association; Black Law Students Association

Legal work: Legal Intern for the Arlington County Circuit Court

Future plans and aspirations: I plan to return to Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia and practice as an attorney with a focus on litigation, antitrust, and technology law. Additionally, I plan to volunteer and provide legal aid to nonprofits that advance the civil liberties of minorities and the local community. 

Why did you choose NDLS? I was attracted by Notre Dame's national reputation and its strong alumni network. After attending one of the Admitted Students Open Houses, several alumni reached out to me and encouraged me to attend. Their outreach showcased Notre Dame's extensive alumni network, which has been extremely helpful in my legal career thus far.